Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Woe Is My Liver

For those of us who live in the northern continental U.S., spring can never come soon enough. Today here in Ann Arbor it's currently 11 degrees with wind chills below zero. Last week I told my doctor that once the weather warmed, I would be able to resume my diet and exercise program. Can't ride a bike in the snow or jog on ice after all.

Promising wasn't good enough though, so now I have a new prescription to take. Since he's my new primary care doctor, I thought I should at least try it. Checking the side effects when I got home, I saw it was associated with heart failure and liver failure. Gee, the risks I take to please a new doc.

Have you ever noticed in those TV ads for various prescriptions that almost all of them warn, "Don't take this medicine if you have ever experienced liver problems. Tell your doctor if you have any of these conditions." Shouldn't my doctor know already? In fact, he's more likely to know than I am since he's got my chart with the lab reports right there in his office.

In fact, at my first visit with my new doc, he told me, "Did you know your last liver function tests were elevated?" He said it in a way that seem to demand an explanation. What did he expect me to say? My other doctor didn't tell me because he didn't want to turn me into a worrywart?

Actually, my last doctor was a pretty focused guy. If he called me to set up an appointment to talk about my latest cholesterol tests, I could walk into his office with an extra head growing out of my neck and he wouldn't notice. The discussion would still be about my cholesterol.

Now I wonder if my new doc remembered my elevated liver function tests when he prescribed this new drug. I did repeat the tests. And he didn't have anything to say afterwards. So I assume all is well.

All these health issues are enough to drive you to drink sometimes. Wonder if that'd be bad for my liver.

24 Comments:

Anonymous cassie-b said...

And that's part of the reason I don't care much for Doctors. But only part.

8:00 AM  
Anonymous enforcer said...

The weather is no excuse not to exercise.

11:03 AM  
Anonymous Deb said...

There are times when I really doubt the medical profession. Dave, take care of yourself!

4:06 PM  
Anonymous Maria said...

I remember those Michigan winters from years ago when I lived in Plymouth.

You can throw that drink that is bad for your liver at me for now because the evil in me can't help mentioning that it is 70 degrees and sunny on the desert.

7:13 AM  
Blogger Babette said...

Practice yoga and eat more GREENS, Dave.

7:52 AM  
Anonymous Terri said...

Burr! And I was complaining about 50 here last week? Oooh, I remember those winters well from the Boston area.
DO be careful taking that new med. Docs seem to have a hard time remembering who shouldn't take what!

12:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Boy Dave --- You are certainly astute to have made such observations about the medical ads on T.V. Here I am --- a nurse, and wondering why anyone in their right mind could see these ads and still want to take the meds with all the side affects. I think your new PCP needs to get to know you better, before you start getting migraines in that extra head. Seriously, keep an impartial eye out for any unusual side effects of the new meds --- most of the cholesterol lowering meds can have pretty deadly problems, but not everyone has a problem with them. Also, you can look them up on WebMD for contraindications. (It's me, Kacey --- I forgot to sign in thru Google and they keep losing my comments)

4:17 PM  
Blogger OldHorsetailSnake said...

I am sorry to think of all the calves liver I have eat in my time on earth. But this b**g makes me wonder: would your liver taste the same, or would it be more like beef liver?

4:37 PM  
Blogger Lee said...

They only want to drive you to drink, so that they can test your liver! ;)

10:18 PM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Dave, part of the liver problem is that you like your beer a little too much.

I take flax seed oil and evening primrose oil and it keeps my cholestrol readings down. I still go for the natural healing methods.

As far as excerising inside goes, you can do deep breathing (check out www.oxycise.com) and do yoga. My daughter bought me a "Yoga for Dummies" DVD and I am using that one. It is designed for us "older" people and it is a little easier to do.

PS. This is the time of year that I like living in Houston...

3:34 AM  
Blogger CactusFreek said...

Hi :o)
Here in Australia, we don't have ads on TV for prescription medicines. Only over the counter drugs like pain killers.
And i've never heard of the liver thing. But here, everyone warns to be careful if you have heart complaints. We live in two different countries but basicly have the same lifestyles. So why aren't the warnings the same? I'm curious now!

I exercise more in the winter than i do in summer. I hate sweating..blaahhhh

6:27 AM  
Anonymous squirrel said...

Wow now thats cold, dude! I've got 70 degrees today and I was thinking it was a little chilly in the house!

Doctors freak me out. For the past few years i've gone with the slogan "If God wants me dead I'll die" and I just don't worry about it unless I feel some kind of pain. I know it's probably stupid but them i'm not known for my brilliance....

11:02 AM  
Blogger Sideways Chica said...

Dear Big Dave...this one definitely rings my bell. It's called the "practice" of medicine for good reason. I recently helped out a friend who's quite a bit older. He was feeling terrible and ached all over most of the time. I took all of his prescriptions. Looked them up on line and made a chart of drug interactions, vitamin interactions, etc. Lo and behold at least two of the four were not to be taken with one or more of the other prescriptions he was taking - and all prescribed by the same doctor. In fact, some permanent muscle damage may have been done...and I don't know about the liver.

So...pretty long winded for me here, but my friend and I (and our livers) will join you in a drink, if that's okay! ;)

3:12 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dave,

Trust your gut, not your doctor. Look up natural remedies for your problem. They do exist, and they do work.

Recently, I was diagnosed with a stomach bacteria called H. Pylori. My doctor gave me prescriptions for TWO antibiotics, plus some kind of stomach acid inhibitor. I went online and found out that something called "Mastic Gum" got rid of the H. Pylori with no side effects (you can only imagine the fun I would have as a woman taking TWO antibiotics at once...that would just lead to MORE meds for something else). Well, guess what? It totally worked. Went back two weeks later, the count went down to nothing, and I made sure to inform him that I did it naturally. They don't like to hear that. Must have something to do with their commissions off of the drugs that they push.

6:55 PM  
Blogger Merle said...

Hi Dave ~~ The new Doc should have read up all the notes on you to get to know whst problems you have. Try
natural methods first is good news.
Glad you liked te ten dollars story.
I haven't met up with the Swinger from Kazakhstan yet and hope I don't.
Have to be careful of blog titles.
Peter is visiting me soon and will update my blogroll for me.
Take care, and wishing you good health. Cheers, Merle.

5:23 AM  
Blogger Spider63 said...

Those ads are great. The side effects are often worse than the disease.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Homer said...

To alcohol - the cause of, and solution to, all of life's problems!

1:54 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

Even worse for driving one to drink are basketball debacles, Dave.

7:12 PM  
Anonymous schnoodlepooh said...

When I see those ads on TV for the various drugs and all of those possible side effects, it scares me. Yeah sure, the drugs are great, but if one of the side effects is sudden death, maybe it's not such a good deal. Pretty scary.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Peter said...

Pretty sure being driven to drink isn't good for your liver Dave, too bad.

1:42 AM  
Blogger simply me said...

I just love your sensibility...is that a midwestern thing? Because my husband is like that too. When I went to the doctor and was told my blood pressure was a little high....she immediately wanted me to start meds even though it was my first time.

My husband who is also from Michigan, said "have you read "your bodies cry for Water" - drink water and don't worry. My pressure did go down and I walk alot and drink lots of water. Under stress it can go up but not that bad.

Trust yourself and "Always" read the side effects - they can be worse than the actual illness.

6:30 PM  
Blogger simply me said...

Hey Dave - Thanks for checking in. Really enjoy your writing. BTW I am too old for wrestling and even watching it....
Enjoy your NCCA - do a little hollering for me....

1:57 PM  
Blogger Babette said...

Need any help with your NCAA bracket, Dave? All five of my wrestlers have MSU as top pick. At least that's their story as they gaze at the last piece of apple pie on the counter.

WSU COUGARS would make a great #2 choice. I need to find my reading glasses, as I can't seem to find that other Michigan school anywhere on my page. Maybe it's under A squared, or AA screwed...GO SPARTANS!

8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

滿..................................................

10:55 PM  

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